Neil Lennon's concern regarding what resource he has left for Tuesday's Champions League visit of Ajax to Celtic Park will be offset by a rousing second-half showing in Edinburgh.
From a position of trailing at the break, Celtic recovered to the point they could feel aggrieved not to defeat Hibernian. James Forrest, who has not had to look hard for an injury of late, stepped from among Lennon's substitutes to inspire the visitors and provide a wonderful goal to bring his side level.
Yet Lennon watched Kris Commons limp from the field early in this match with a hamstring injury. Should the midfielder fail to recover, he would join the injured Adam Matthews and suspended Scott Brown in missing Tuesday night's crucial tie. Emilio Izaguirre is suffering from a virus whilst Mikael Lustig was left out of the meeting with Hibs but should be fit for Tuesday. Lennon diverted his post-match ire towards the tackling of Hibs, which he described as "shocking, reckless" and "rugby-esque" in nature.
Pat Fenlon, the Hibs manager, was nonplussed. "Good," he said, when told of Lennon's comments. "That means our message is getting through to the players about being competitive."
Celtic arrived and left here as the only unbeaten team in the Scottish Premiership. But in Hibs, they faced a side who have enjoyed an unforeseen upturn under Fenlon.
Following the utter embarrassment of a 7-0 loss at home to Malmo in a Europa League qualifying tie in August, it seemed only a matter of time before Fenlon departed Easter Road. Instead, the Irishman has presided over a run of just one defeat in eight games heading into this encounter.
Such a statistic must be offset by the Hibs board backing Fenlon with regard player recruits and a generally poor standard of the Scottish domestic scene. Hibs' chronic under-performance in recent years has also arguably altered what is deemed success in these parts. Still, Fenlon is worthy of credit, for now, on the basis he has retrieved what seemed a doomed scenario with regards his own job. In offering a further nod to the manager's influence, Hibs scrapped for every single cause, viable or otherwise, during the champions' visit. They are unquestionably a physical side.
That paid off in the 18th minute as Kevin Thomson won a tackle with Scott Brown, which sent Paul Heffernan through in goal. In continuing this apparently never-ending spell of chronically bad decisions by Scottish officials, Heffernan was offside; to the extent he barely seemed to believe his own luck. "I haven't watched it again, I didn't need to," said Lennon. "He was at least a yard offside."
Tom Murphy, the assistant referee who erred on this occasion, will doubtless claim he thought Brown, rather than Thomson, played the crucial pass. As Lennon complained, Heffernan celebrated. The former Kilmarnock player has been a smart Fenlon signing, thereby minimising the void created by the return of Leigh Griffiths to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of a prolific loan spell.
In Ben Williams, Fenlon has also solved what had been a recurring Hibs problem by identifying a decent goalkeeper. Williams saved smartly from Georgios Samaras before the interval and even more impressively from both Beram Kayal and Anthony Stokes after the break as Celtic sought an equaliser.
Teemu Pukki should have provided precisely that, two minutes from half-time, after Williams was exposed by Forrest. Instead, the Finland international delayed his shot sufficiently for Ryan McGivern to recover ground and block it.
Celtic's menace increased as proceedings wore on. Stokes played a glorious ball across the Hibs goal, which eluded all of his team-mates, before Forrest supplied a contender for goal of the season.
The winger, who had replaced Commons, cut in from the right flank whilst leaving Liam Craig trailing in his wake. Better was to come from Forrest, with Williams finally beaten by a sublime, curling finish which arrived from the outside of the Celtic man's right boot. Four minutes from time, Forrest was denied what would surely have been a Celtic winner by a terrific, one-handed Williams save.
Earlier, Stokes had volleyed over the Hibs crossbar in highlighting just how the tide of this game had turned. The hosts were not showing much adventure; Fenlon could rightly point out there was little scope to do so.